Rip current statement affecting Mobile and Baldwin counties until Thursday morning

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The National Weather Service issued a rip current statement at 3:29 a.m. on Monday valid from 7 a.m. until Thursday 7 a.m. for Mobile and Baldwin counties.

“Dangerous rip currents expected,” adds the weather service. “While rip currents may start off low this morning they are expect to rapidly increase to a HIGH risk this afternoon.”

“Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away from shore into deeper water,” explains the weather service. “If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”

Navigating rip currents: Your survival manual

Rip currents, swift channels of water flowing away from the shore at surf beaches, can turn a day at the beach into a dangerous situation. Understanding how to respond when caught in one is crucial. The weather service offers these life-saving tips:

1. Stay calm – they won’t drag you under:

  • Your first rule of thumb: Keep a clear head. Rip currents won’t pull you beneath the water’s surface. Panic is your enemy; it depletes precious energy needed for your survival.

2. Go with the flow, but not toward the beach:

  • Don’t swim towards the beach against the rip current. Instead, swim parallel to the beach and out of the rip current.

3. Signal for help if necessary:

  • If you find yourself unable to reach the shore, try to relax. Turn to face the shore, tread water, and signal for help by shouting or waving your arms. This increases your visibility to potential rescuers.

4. Seek lifeguarded beaches for added safety:

  • If at all possible, only swim at beaches with lifeguards.

5. Never brave the waves alone on unguarded shores:

  • If you decide to swim at beaches without lifeguards, establish a cardinal rule: never go solo. Always bring a companion, and ensure they have a cell phone to call 911 if needed.

Rip currents are formidable natural forces, but knowing how to react can significantly increase your chances of safely navigating these challenging waters. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and prioritize safety when enjoying the surf.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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